Noble Eightfold Path (The Way)

Cessation of Stress

“The ear…. The nose…. The tongue…. The body…. The intellect….
“Forms…. Sounds…. Aromas…. Tastes…. Tactile sensations…. Ideas….

“Eye-consciousness…. Ear-consciousness…. Nose-consciousness…. Tongue-consciousness…. Body-consciousness…. Intellect-consciousness….

“Eye-contact…. Ear-contact…. Nose-contact…. Tongue-contact…. Body-contact…. Intellect-contact….

“Feeling born of eye-contact…. Feeling born of ear-contact…. Feeling born of nose-contact…. Feeling born of tongue-contact…. Feeling born of body-contact…. Feeling born of intellect-contact….

“Perception of forms…. Perception of sounds…. Perception of aromas…. Perception of tastes…. Perception of tactile sensations…. Perception of ideas….

“Intention for forms…. Intention for sounds…. Intention for aromas…. Intention for tastes…. Intention for tactile sensations…. Intention for ideas….

“Craving for forms…. Craving for sounds…. Craving for aromas…. Craving for tastes…. Craving for tactile sensations…. Craving for ideas….

“Thought directed at forms…. Thought directed at sounds…. Thought directed at aromas…. Thought directed at tastes…. Thought directed at tactile sensations…. Thought directed at ideas….

“Evaluation of forms…. Evaluation of sounds…. Evaluation of aromas…. Evaluation of tastes…. Evaluation of tactile sensations…. Evaluation of ideas is endearing & alluring in terms of the world. That is where, when being abandoned, this craving is abandoned.

That is where, when ceasing, it ceases.

“This is called the noble truth of the cessation of stress.

[d] “And what is the noble truth of the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress? Just this very noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

The Great Establishing of Mindfulness Discourse
Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22)

“The ignorance with which the fool is obstructed, the craving with which he is conjoined, through which this body results: That ignorance has not been abandoned by the fool; that craving has not been destroyed. Why is that? The fool has not practiced the holy life for the right ending of stress. Therefore, at the break-up of the body, he is headed for a (new) body. Headed for a body, he is not entirely freed from birth, aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. I tell you, he is not entirely freed from stress & suffering.

“The ignorance with which the wise person is obstructed, the craving with which he is conjoined, through which this body results: That ignorance has been abandoned by the wise person; that craving has been destroyed. Why is that? The wise person has practiced the holy life for the right ending of stress. Therefore, at the break-up of the body, he is not headed for a (new) body. Not headed for a body, he is entirely freed from birth, aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is, I tell you, entirely freed from stress & suffering.”

The Fool & the Wise Person
Bāla-paṇḍita Sutta (SN 12:19)

‘How this world has fallen on difficulty! It is born, it ages, it dies, it falls away & rearises, but it does not discern the escape from this stress, from this aging-&-death. O when will it discern the escape from this stress, from this aging-&-death?’

‘Consciousness exists when name-&-form exists. From name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.’

“Then the thought occurred to me, ‘This consciousness turns back at name-&-form, and goes no farther. It is to this extent that there is birth, aging, death, falling away, & re-arising, i.e., from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media.… Thus is the origination of this entire mass of stress. Origination, origination.’ Vision arose, clear knowing arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before.

“The thought occurred to me, ‘I have attained this path to awakening, i.e., from the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of consciousness, from the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth.

“It’s just as if a man, traveling along a wilderness track, were to see an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by people of former times. He would follow it. Following it, he would see an ancient city, an ancient capital inhabited by people of former times, complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful. He would go to address the king or the king’s minister, saying, ‘Sire, you should know that while traveling along a wilderness track I saw an ancient path… I followed it… I saw an ancient city, an ancient capital… complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful. Sire, rebuild that city!’ The king or king’s minister would rebuild the city, so that at a later date the city would become powerful, rich, & well-populated, fully grown & prosperous.

“In the same way I saw an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. And what is that ancient path, that ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times? Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the ancient path, the ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of aging-&-death, direct knowledge of the origination of aging-&-death, direct knowledge of the cessation of aging-&-death, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of aging-&-death. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of birth… becoming… clinging… craving… feeling… contact… the six sense media… name-&-form… consciousness, direct knowledge of the origination of consciousness, direct knowledge of the cessation of consciousness, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of consciousness. I followed that path.

“Following it, I came to direct knowledge of fabrications, direct knowledge of the origination of fabrications, direct knowledge of the cessation of fabrications, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of fabrications. Knowing that directly, I have revealed it to monks, nuns, male lay followers & female lay followers, so that this holy life has become powerful, rich, detailed, well-populated, wide-spread, proclaimed among devas & human beings.”

The City
Nagara Sutta (SN 12:65)

Right View

“And what is right view? Knowledge with reference to stress, knowledge with reference to the origination of stress, knowledge with reference to the cessation of stress, knowledge with reference to the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called right view.

The Great Establishing of Mindfulness Discourse
Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22)

“Three qualities of the world, great king, when arising, arise for harm, stress, & discomfort. Which three?

Greed, great king, is a quality of the world that, when arising, arises for harm, stress, & discomfort.

Aversion… Delusion is a quality of the world that, when arising, arises for harm, stress, & discomfort.

“Greed, aversion, & delusion
—born from oneself—
destroy
the person of evil awareness,
as its own fruit, the reed.”

(Qualities of) the World
Loka Sutta (SN 3:23)

And what is the prerequisite for the knowledge of ending? Release, it should be said. Release has its prerequisite, I tell you. It is not without a prerequisite. And what is its prerequisite? Dispassion.… Disenchantment.… Knowledge & vision of things as they have come to be.… Concentration.… Pleasure.… Serenity.… Rapture.… Joy.… Conviction.… Stress.… Birth.… Becoming.… Clinging.… Craving.… Feeling.… Contact.… The six sense media.… Name-&-form.… Consciousness.… Fabrications.… Fabrications have their prerequisite, I tell you. They are not without a prerequisite. And what is their prerequisite? Ignorance, it should be said.

“Thus fabrications have ignorance as their prerequisite,
consciousness has fabrications as its prerequisite,
name-&-form has consciousness as its prerequisite,
the six sense media have name-&-form as their prerequisite,
contact has the six sense media as its prerequisite,
feeling has contact as its prerequisite,
craving has feeling as its prerequisite,
clinging has craving as its prerequisite,
becoming has clinging as its prerequisite,
birth has becoming as its prerequisite,
stress has birth as its prerequisite,
conviction has stress as its prerequisite,
joy has conviction as its prerequisite,
rapture has joy as its prerequisite,
calm has rapture as its prerequisite,
pleasure has calm as its prerequisite,
concentration has pleasure as its prerequisite,
knowledge & vision of things as they have come to be has concentration as its prerequisite,
disenchantment has knowledge & vision of things as they have come to be as its prerequisite,
dispassion has disenchantment as its prerequisite,
release has dispassion as its prerequisite,
knowledge of ending has release as its prerequisite.

fabrications have ignorance as their prerequisite,
consciousness has fabrications as its prerequisite,
name-&-form has consciousness as their prerequisite,
the six sense media have name-&-form as their prerequisite,
contact has the six sense media as its prerequisite,
feeling has contact as its prerequisite,
craving has feeling as its prerequisite,
clinging has craving as its prerequisite,
becoming has clinging as its prerequisite,
birth has becoming as its prerequisite,
stress has birth as its prerequisite,
conviction has stress as its prerequisite,
joy has conviction as its prerequisite,
rapture has joy as its prerequisite,
calm has rapture as its prerequisite,
pleasure has calm as its prerequisite,
concentration has pleasure as its prerequisite,
knowledge & vision of things as they have come to be has concentration as its prerequisite,
disenchantment has knowledge & vision of things as they have come to be as its prerequisite,
dispassion has disenchantment as its prerequisite,
release has dispassion as its prerequisite,
knowledge of ending has release as its prerequisite.”

Prerequisites
Upanisa Sutta (SN 12:23)

Monks, there are these four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born. Which four? Physical food, gross or refined; contact as the second; intellectual intention the third; and consciousness the fourth.

‘Consciousness-nutriment for what?’ And the valid answer is, ‘Consciousness-nutriment for the production of future coming-into-being. When that has come into being and exists, then the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact.’”

From what as a requisite condition comes contact?’ And the valid answer is, ‘From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.’”

‘From what as a requisite condition comes feeling?’ And the valid answer is, ‘From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.’”

‘From what as a requisite condition comes craving?’ And the valid answer is, ‘From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.’”

‘From what as a requisite condition comes clinging?’ And the valid answer is, ‘From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging. From clinging as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering

“Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of the six sense media2 comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering.”

To Phagguna
Phagguna Sutta (SN 12:12)

Good intentions.

“Monks, what one intends, what one arranges, and what one obsesses about: This is a support for the stationing of consciousness. There being a support, there is a landing of consciousness. When that consciousness lands and grows, there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. When there is the production of renewed becoming in the future, there is future birth, aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. Such is the origination of this entire mass of suffering & stress.

“If one doesn’t intend and doesn’t arrange, but one still obsesses (about something), this is a support for the stationing of consciousness. There being a support, there is a landing of consciousness. When that consciousness lands and grows, there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. When there is the production of renewed becoming in the future, there is future birth, aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. Such (too) is the origination of this entire mass of suffering & stress.

“But when one doesn’t intend, arrange, or obsess (about anything), there is no support for the stationing of consciousness. There being no support, there is no landing of consciousness. When that consciousness doesn’t land & grow, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future. When there is no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering & stress.”

* This discourse describes the link between fabrications and consciousness in dependent co-arising, and shows how intention and underlying obsessions—with ignorance of the four noble truths being the basis for all obsessions—play a role in constituting awareness of the present moment.

Intention
Cetanā Sutta (SN 12:38)

“A person immersed in ignorance: If he fabricates a meritorious fabrication, his consciousness goes on to merit. If he fabricates a demeritorious fabrication, his consciousness goes on to demerit.

If he fabricates an imperturbable fabrication, his consciousness goes on to the imperturbable.
Neither fabricating nor willing, he is not sustained by [does not cling to] anything in the world.

Unsustained, he is not agitated. Unagitated, he is totally unbound right within. He discerns that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.’

Investigating
Parivīmaṁsa Sutta (SN 12:51)

“There are these four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born. Which four? Physical food, gross or refined; contact as the second, intellectual intention the third, and consciousness the fourth. These are the four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born.

“Where there is passion, delight, & craving for the nutriment of physical food, consciousness lands there and increases. Where consciousness lands and increases, there is the alighting of name-&-form. Where there is the alighting of name-&-form, there is the growth of fabrications. Where there is the growth of fabrications, there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is the production of renewed becoming in the future, there is future birth, aging, & death, together, I tell you, with sorrow, affliction, & despair.

“Where there is passion, delight, & craving for the nutriment of contact.…

“Where there is passion, delight, & craving for the nutriment of intellectual intention.…

“Where there is passion, delight, & craving for the nutriment of consciousness, consciousness lands there and increases. Where consciousness lands and increases, there is the alighting of name-&-form. Where there is the alighting of name-&-form, there is the growth of fabrications. Where there is the growth of fabrications, there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is the production of renewed becoming in the future, there is future birth, aging, & death, together, I tell you, with sorrow, affliction, & despair.

“Just as—when there is dye, lac, yellow orpiment, indigo, or crimson—a dyer or painter would paint the picture of a woman or a man, complete in all its parts, on a well-polished panel or wall, or on a piece of cloth; in the same way, where there is passion, delight, & craving for the nutriment of physical food… contact… intellectual intention… consciousness, consciousness lands there and increases. Where consciousness lands and increases, there is the alighting of name-&-form. Where there is the alighting of name-&-form, there is the growth of fabrications. Where there is the growth of fabrications, there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is the production of renewed becoming in the future, there is future birth, aging, & death, together, I tell you, with sorrow, affliction, & despair.

“Where there is no passion for the nutriment of physical food, where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or increase. Where consciousness does not land or increase, there is no alighting of name-&-form. Where there is no alighting of name-&-form, there is no growth of fabrications. Where there is no growth of fabrications, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging, & death. That, I tell you, has no sorrow, affliction, or despair.

“Where there is no passion for the nutriment of contact.…

“Where there is no passion for the nutriment of intellectual intention.…

“Where there is no passion for the nutriment of consciousness, where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or increase. Where consciousness does not land or increase, there is no alighting of name-&-form. Where there is no alighting of name-&-form, there is no growth of fabrications. Where there is no growth of fabrications, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging, & death. That, I tell you, has no sorrow, affliction, or despair.

Where There is Passion
Atthi Rāga Sutta (SN 12:64)

Comprehension

“For a monk practicing the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma, what accords with the Dhamma is this: that he keep focused on stress with regard to form, that he keep focused on stress with regard to feeling, that he keep focused on stress with regard to perception, that he keep focused on stress with regard to fabrications, that he keep focused on stress with regard to consciousness. As he keeps focusing on stress with regard to form… feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness, he comprehends form… feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness. As he comprehends form… feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness, he is totally released from form… feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness. He is totally released from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is totally released, I tell you, from suffering & stress.”

In Accordance with the Dhamma (3)
Anudhamma Sutta (SN 22:41)

Right Resolve

And what is right resolve? Resolve for renunciation, resolve for freedom from ill will, resolve for harmlessness: This is called right resolve.

The Great Establishing of Mindfulness Discourse
Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22)

“And which five factors has he abandoned? He has abandoned sensual desire… ill will… sloth & drowsiness… restlessness & anxiety… uncertainty. These are the five factors he has abandoned.

And with which five factors is he endowed? He is endowed with the aggregate of virtue of one beyond training… the aggregate of concentration of one beyond training… the aggregate of discernment of one beyond training… the aggregate of release of one beyond training… the aggregate of knowledge & vision of release of one beyond training. These are the five factors with which he is endowed.

Archery Skills
Issattha Sutta (SN 3:24)

Then Maṇibhadda the yakkha-spirit went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, recited this verse:

“It’s always auspicious for one who is mindful.
The mindful one prospers happily—always.
The mindful one grows better each day
and is totally freed from animosity.”

The Buddha:

“It’s always auspicious for one who is mindful.
The mindful one prospers happily always.
The mindful one grows better each day
but isn’t totally freed from animosity.
Whoever’s heart, all day, all night,
delights in harmlessness
with goodwill for all beings
has no animosity with anyone at all.

With Maṇibhadda
Maṇibhadda Sutta (SN 10:4)

We have been here too long.

“From an inconceivable beginning comes the wandering-on. A beginning point is not discernible, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on.

Which is greater, the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time—crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing—or the water in the four great oceans?”

“This is the greater: the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time—crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing—not the water in the four great oceans.

“Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a mother. The tears you have shed over the death of a mother while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time—crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing—are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

“Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father… the death of a brother… the death of a sister… the death of a son… the death of a daughter… loss with regard to relatives… loss with regard to wealth… loss with regard to disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to disease while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time—crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing—are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

“Why is that? From an inconceivable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries—enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released.”

Tears
Assu Sutta (SN 15:3)

“Suppose there were a great mountain of rock—a league long, a league wide, a league high, uncracked, uncavitied, a single mass—and a man would come along once every hundred years and rub it once with a Kasī cloth.

More quickly would that great mountain of rock waste away and be consumed by that effort, but not the eon.

That’s how long, monk, an eon is.

And of eons of such length, not just one eon has been wandered-through, not just one hundred eons have been wandered-through, not just one thousand eons have been wandered-through, not just one hundred-thousand eons have been wandered-through.

“Why is that? From an inconceivable beginning comes the wandering-on. A beginning point is not discernible, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries—enough to become disenchanted with all fabrications, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released.”

A Mountain
Pabbata Sutta (SN 15:5)

“From an inconceivable beginning comes the wandering-on. A beginning point is not discernible, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on.

When you see someone who has fallen on hard times, overwhelmed with hard times, you should conclude: ‘We, too, have experienced just this sort of thing in the course of that long, long time.’

Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries—enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released.”

Fallen on Hard Times
Duggata Sutta (SN 15:11)

A being who has not been your mother at one time in the past is not easy to find.… A being who has not been your father.… your brother.… your sister.… your son.… your daughter at one time in the past is not easy to find.

Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries—enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released.”

Mother
Mātu Sutta (SN 15:14–19)

Disenchantment

“For a monk practicing the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma, what accords with the Dhamma is this: that he keep cultivating disenchantment with regard to form, that he keep cultivating disenchantment with regard to feeling, that he keep cultivating disenchantment with regard to perception, that he keep cultivating disenchantment with regard to fabrications, that he keep cultivating disenchantment with regard to consciousness.”

As he keeps cultivating disenchantment with regard to form… feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness, he comprehends form… feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness. As he comprehends form… feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness, he is totally released from form… feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness. He is totally released from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is totally released, I tell you, from suffering & stress.”

Note: the Buddha stated that the proper way to pay homage to him was to practice the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma.

In Accordance with the Dhamma (1)
Anudhamma Sutta (SN 22:39)

Right Speech

“And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

The Great Establishing of Mindfulness Discourse
Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22)

Right Action

“And what is right action? Abstaining from taking life, from stealing, & from sexual misconduct: This is called right action.

The Great Establishing of Mindfulness Discourse
Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22)

“Having killed what
do you sleep in ease?
Having killed what
do you not grieve?
Of the slaying
of what one thing
does Gotama approve?”

The Buddha:

“Having killed anger
you sleep in ease.
Having killed anger
you do not grieve.
The noble ones praise
the slaying of anger
—with its honeyed crest
& poison root—
for having killed it
you do not grieve.”

Having Killed
Chetvā Sutta (SN 1:71)

The Buddha:
“Whence is there anger
for one free from anger,
tamed,
living in tune—
one released through right knowing,
calmed
& Such.
You make things worse
when you flare up
at someone who’s angry.
Whoever doesn’t flare up
at someone who’s angry
wins a battle
hard to win.
You live for the good of both
—your own, the other’s—
when, knowing the other’s provoked,
you mindfully grow calm.
When you work the cure of both
—your own, the other’s—
those who think you a fool
know nothing of Dhamma.”

When this was said, the brahman Akkosaka Bhāradvāja said to the Blessed One, “Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama—through many lines of reasoning—made the Dhamma clear.

Insult
Akkosa Sutta (SN 7:2)

‘Those who engage in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, & mental misconduct are not dear to themselves. Even though they may say, “We are dear to ourselves,” still they aren’t dear to themselves. Why is that? Of their own accord, they act toward themselves as an enemy would act toward an enemy; thus they aren’t dear to themselves. But those who engage in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, & good mental conduct are dear to themselves. Even though they may say, “We aren’t dear to ourselves,” still they are dear to themselves. Why is that? Of their own accord, they act toward themselves as a dear one would act toward a dear one; thus they are dear to themselves.’”

“That’s the way it is, great king! That’s the way it is!

“If you hold yourself dear
then don’t fetter yourself
with evil,
for happiness isn’t easily gained
by one who commits
a wrong-doing.
When seized by the End-maker
as you abandon the human state,
what’s truly your own?
What do you take along when you go?
What follows behind you
like a shadow
that never leaves?
Both the merit & evil
that you as a mortal
perform here:
That’s
what’s truly your own,
what you take along when you go;
that’s
what follows behind you
like a shadow
that never leaves.
So do what is admirable,
as an accumulation
for the future life.
Deeds of merit are the support for beings
when they arise
in the other world.”

Dear
Piya Sutta (SN 3:4)

“Lord, a great group of people has now been put into bondage by King Pasenadi Kosala—some with ropes, some with wooden shackles, some with chains.”

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion spoke these verses:

That’s not a strong bond
—so say the enlightened—
the one made of iron, of wood, or of grass.
To be smitten, enthralled,
with jewels & ornaments,
longing for children & wives:
That’s the strong bond,
—so say the enlightened—
one that’s constraining,
elastic,
hard to untie.
But having cut it, they
—the enlightened—go forth,
free of longing, abandoning
sensual ease.

Bonds
Bandhana Sutta (SN 3:10)


the Blessed One said to him, “Tissa, why are you sitting to one side—miserable, unhappy, shedding tears?”

“Because, lord, monks on all sides attack me with piercing words.”

This is what’s proper for you—a clansman who has gone forth through conviction from the home life into homelessness: that you be one who admonishes and can stand being admonished.”

Why are you angry? Don’t be angry.
Non-anger, Tissa, is best for you.
It’s for the sake of subduing
anger, conceit, & contempt, Tissa,
that the holy life is lived.

Tissa
Tissa Sutta (SN 21:9)

Right Livelihood

“And what is right livelihood? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his life going with right livelihood. This is called right livelihood.

The Great Establishing of Mindfulness Discourse
Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22)

Then not long after the seven coiled-hair ascetics, seven Jain ascetics, seven cloth-less ascetics, seven one-cloth ascetics, & seven wanderers had passed, King Pasenadi Kosala went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side.

As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, “Of those in the world who are arahants or on the path to arahantship, are these among them?”

“Great king, as a layman enjoying sensual pleasures; living confined with children; using Kāsī fabrics & sandalwood; wearing garlands, scents, & creams; handling gold & silver, it’s hard for you to know whether these are arahants or on the path to arahantship.

“It’s through living together that a person’s virtue may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.

“It’s through trading with a person that his purity may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.

“It’s through adversity that a person’s endurance may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.

“It’s through discussion that a person’s discernment may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.”

“Amazing, lord! Astounding!–how well that was put by the Blessed One!

“These men, lord, are my spies, my scouts, returning after going out through the countryside. They go out first, and then I go. Now, when they have scrubbed off the dirt & mud, are well-bathed & well-perfumed, have trimmed their hair and beards, and have put on white clothes, they will go about endowed and provided with the five strings of sensuality.”

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

One
should not make an effort everywhere,
should not be another’s hireling,
should not live dependent on another,
should not go about
as a trader in the Dhamma.

Ud 6:2 Seclusion (Paṭisalla Sutta)

Not by appearance
is a man rightly known,
nor should trust be based
on a quick glance,
—for, disguised as well-restrained,
the unrestrained go through this world.
A counterfeit earring made of clay,
a bronze half-dollar coated in gold:
They go about in this world
hidden all around—
impure inside,
beautiful out.

Coiled-hair Ascetics
Jaṭila Sutta (SN 3:11)

Right Effort

“And what is right effort? There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, arouses persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen… for the sake of the abandoning of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen… for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen… (and) for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen. This is called right effort.

The Great Establishing of Mindfulness Discourse
Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22)

‘Who have themselves protected, and who leave themselves unprotected?’ Then it occurred to me: ‘Those who engage in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, & mental misconduct leave themselves unprotected. Even though a squadron of elephant troops might protect them, a squadron of cavalry troops, a squadron of chariot troops, a squadron of infantry troops might protect them, still they leave themselves unprotected. Why is that? Because that’s an external protection, not an internal one. Therefore they leave themselves unprotected.

“That’s the way it is, great king! That’s the way it is!

“Restraint with the body is good,
good is restraint with speech.
Restraint with the heart is good,
good is restraint everywhere.
Restrained everywhere,
conscientious,
one is said to be
protected.”

Self-protected
Atta-rakkhita Sutta (SN 3:5)

“There are these four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born. Which four? Physical food, gross or refined; contact as the second, intellectual intention the third, and consciousness the fourth. These are the four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born.

“And how is physical food to be regarded? Suppose a couple, husband & wife, taking meager provisions, were to travel through a desert. With them would be their only baby son, dear & appealing. Then the meager provisions of the couple going through the desert would be used up & depleted while there was still a stretch of the desert yet to be crossed.

The thought would occur to them, ‘Our meager provisions are used up & depleted while there is still a stretch of this desert yet to be crossed. What if we were to kill this only baby son of ours, dear & appealing, and make dried meat & jerky. That way—chewing on the flesh of our son—at least the two of us would make it through this desert. Otherwise, all three of us would perish.’ So they would kill their only baby son, loved & endearing, and make dried meat & jerky. Chewing on the flesh of their son, they would make it through the desert.

While eating the flesh of their only son, they would beat their breasts, (crying,) ‘Where have you gone, our only baby son? Where have you gone, our only baby son?’ Now what do you think, monks? Would that couple eat that food playfully or for intoxication, or for putting on bulk, or for beatification?”

“No, lord.”

“Wouldn’t they eat that food simply for the sake of making it through that desert?”

“Yes, lord.”

“In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of physical food to be regarded. When physical food is comprehended, passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended. When passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended, there is no fetter bound by which a disciple of the noble ones would come back again to this world.

“And how is the nutriment of contact to be regarded? Suppose a flayed cow were to stand leaning against a wall. The creatures living in the wall would chew on it. If it were to stand leaning against a tree, the creatures living in the tree would chew on it. If it were to stand exposed to water, the creatures living in the water would chew on it. If it were to stand exposed to the air, the creatures living in the air would chew on it. For wherever the flayed cow were to stand exposed, the creatures living there would chew on it. In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of contact to be regarded. When the nutriment of contact is comprehended, the three feelings [pleasure, pain, neither pleasure nor pain] are comprehended. When the three feelings are comprehended, I tell you, there is nothing further for a disciple of the noble ones to do.

“And how is the nutriment of intellectual intention to be regarded? Suppose there were a pit of glowing embers, deeper than a man’s height, full of embers that were neither flaming nor smoking, and a man were to come along—loving life, hating death, loving pleasure, abhorring pain—and two strong men, having grabbed him by the arms, were to drag him to the pit of embers. To get far away would be that man’s intention, far away would be his wish, far away would be his aspiration. Why is that? Because he would realize, ‘If I fall into this pit of glowing embers, I will meet with death from that cause, or with death-like pain.’ In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of intellectual intention to be regarded. When the nutriment of intellectual intention is comprehended, the three forms of craving [for sensuality, for becoming, and for non-becoming] are comprehended. When the three forms of craving are comprehended, I tell you, there is nothing further for a disciple of the noble ones to do.

A Son’s Flesh
Puttamaṁsa Sutta (SN 12:63)

Right Mindfulness

“And what is right mindfulness? There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves… the mind in & of itself… mental qualities in & of themselves—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. This is called right mindfulness.

The Great Establishing of Mindfulness Discourse
Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22)

…the devatā inhabiting the forest grove, feeling sympathy for the monk, desiring his benefit, desiring to bring him to his senses, approached him and addressed him with this verse:

“Desiring seclusion
you’ve entered the forest,
and yet your mind
goes running outside.
You, a person:
subdue your desire for people.
Then you’ll be happy, free
from passion.
Dispel discontent,
be mindful.
Let me remind you
of that which is good—
for the dust
of the regions below
is hard to transcend.
Don’t let the dust
of the sensual
pull
you
down.
As a bird
spattered with dirt
sheds the adhering dust with a shake,
so a monk
—energetic & mindful—
sheds the adhering dust.”
The monk, chastened by the devatā, came to his senses.

Seclusion
Viveka Sutta (SN 9:1)

Inconsistency

“For a monk practicing the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma, what accords with the Dhamma is this: that he keep focused on inconstancy with regard to form, that he keep focused on inconstancy with regard to feeling, that he keep focused on inconstancy with regard to perception, that he keep focused on inconstancy with regard to fabrications, that he keep focused on inconstancy with regard to consciousness. As he keeps focusing on inconstancy with regard to form… feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness, he comprehends form… feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness. As he comprehends form… feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness, he is totally released from form… feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness. He is totally released from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is totally released, I tell you, from suffering & stress.”

In Accordance with the Dhamma (2)
Anudhamma Sutta (SN 22:40)

Right Concentration

“And what is right concentration? There is the case where a monk—quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities—enters & remains in the first jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation—internal assurance. With the fading of rapture he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhāna, of which the noble ones declare, ‘Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.’ With the abandoning of pleasure & pain—as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress—he enters & remains in the fourth jhāna: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called right concentration.
“This is called the noble truth of the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.
“In this way he remains focused internally on mental qualities in & of themselves, or externally on mental qualities in & of themselves, or both internally & externally on mental qualities in & of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to mental qualities, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to mental qualities, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to mental qualities. Or his mindfulness that ‘There are mental qualities’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by [not clinging to] anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the four noble truths.

The Great Establishing of Mindfulness Discourse
Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22)

One can have started on the path, know the path, but still have work to do, one must complete the path.

putting aside conviction, putting aside preference, putting aside tradition, putting aside reasoning through analogies, putting aside an agreement through pondering views: Do you have truly personal knowledge that, ‘From birth as a requisite condition come aging-&-death’?”

I do have truly personal knowledge that, ‘From birth as a requisite condition come aging-&-death.’”

Do you have truly personal knowledge that, ‘From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications’?”

I do have truly personal knowledge that, ‘From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.’”

Do you have truly personal knowledge that, ‘From the cessation of birth comes the cessation of aging-&-death’?”

I do have truly personal knowledge that, ‘From the cessation of birth comes the cessation of aging-&-death.’”

Do you have truly personal knowledge that, ‘From the cessation of ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications’?”

I do have truly personal knowledge that, ‘From the cessation of ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications.’”

Do you have truly personal knowledge that, ‘The cessation of becoming is unbinding’?”

I do have truly personal knowledge that, ‘The cessation of becoming is unbinding.’”

“Then, Ven. Musila, you are an arahant whose effluents are ended.”

When this was said, Ven. Musila was silent. [1. According to the Commentary, Ven. Musila’s silence here is a sign of affirmation.]

“Then, Ven. Nārada, you are an arahant whose effluents are ended.”

“My friend, although I have seen properly with right discernment, as it has come to be, that ‘The cessation of becoming is unbinding,’ still I am not an arahant whose effluents are ended

[Going back to analogies]

It’s as if there were a well along a road in a desert, with neither rope nor water bucket. A man would come along overcome by heat, oppressed by the heat, exhausted, dehydrated, & thirsty. He would look into the well and would have knowledge of ‘water,’ but he would not dwell touching it with his body.

In the same way, although I have seen properly with right discernment, as it has come to be, that ‘The cessation of becoming is unbinding,’ still I am not an arahant whose effluents are ended.”

When this was said, Ven. Ānanda said to Ven. Paviṭṭha, “When he speaks in this way, friend Paviṭṭha, what do you have to say about Ven. Nārada?”

“When Ven. Nārada speaks in this way, friend Ānanda, I have nothing to say about Ven. Nārada except that (he is) admirable & skillful.”

At Kosambī
Kosambī Sutta (SN 12:68)

…a certain monk by the name of Elder [Thera] was one who lived alone and extolled the virtues of living alone. Alone he entered the village for alms, alone he returned, alone he sat withdrawn (in meditation), alone he did walking meditation.

Then the Blessed One told a certain monk, “Come, monk. In my name, call the monk named Elder, saying, ‘The Teacher calls you, my friend.’”

the Blessed One said to him, “Is it true, Elder, that you live alone and extol the virtues of living alone?”

“Yes, lord.”

“But how do you live alone and extol the virtues of living alone?”

“Lord, alone I enter the village for alms, alone I return, alone I sit withdrawn (in meditation), alone I do walking meditation. That is how I live alone and extol the virtues of living alone.”

“There is that way of living alone, Elder. I don’t say that there isn’t. Still, listen well to how your living alone is perfected in its details, and pay close attention. I will speak.”

“As you say, lord,” Ven. Elder responded.

The Blessed One said: “And how is living alone perfected in its details? There is the case where whatever is past is abandoned, whatever is future is relinquished, and any passion & desire with regard to states of being attained in the present is well subdued.1 That is how living alone is perfected in its details.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Having said it, the One Well-Gone further said this:

“All-conquering,
all-knowing, intelligent;
with regard to all things,
unadhering;
all-abandoning,
released in the ending of craving:
Him I call
a man who lives
alone.”

Note: As one has craving as a companion, one keeps wandering on.

(A Monk) by the Name of Elder (On Solitude)
Theranāma Sutta (SN 21:10)

‘Having abandoned home,
living free from society,
the sage
in villages
creates no intimacies.
Rid of sensuality, not
preferring,
he wouldn’t engage with people
in quarrelsome debate.’

“Any desire, passion, delight, craving, any attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases or obsessions with regard to the property of feeling… perception… fabrication…

“Any desire, passion, delight, craving, any attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases or obsessions with regard to the property of consciousness: These the Tathāgata has abandoned, their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Therefore the Tathāgata is said to be not dwelling at home.

“And how does one live with society? One who is in bondage to the distraction of the society of form-impressions is said to be living in society. One who is in bondage to the distraction of the society of sound-impressions… aroma-impressions… flavor-impressions… tactile-sensation-impressions… idea-impressions is said to be living in society. This is how one lives with society.

“And how does one live free from society? The Tathāgata has abandoned bondage to the distraction of the society of form-impressions, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Therefore the Tathāgata is said to be living free from society.

“The Tathāgata has abandoned bondage to the distraction of the society of sound-impressions… aroma-impressions… flavor-impressions… tactile-sensation-impressions… idea-impressions, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Therefore the Tathāgata is said to be living free from society.

“And how is one intimate in villages? There is the case where a certain person lives entangled with householders. Delighting together with them, sorrowing together with them, happy when they are happy, pained when they are pained, he takes on any of their arisen business affairs as his own duty. This is how one is intimate in villages.

“And how is one not intimate in villages? There is the case where a monk lives unentangled with householders. Not delighting together with them, not sorrowing together with them, not happy when they are happy, not pained when they are pained, he does not take on any of their arisen business affairs as his own duty. This is how one is not intimate in villages.

ase where a certain person is not free of passion for sensuality, not free of desire, not free of love, not free of thirst, not free of fever, not free of craving for sensuality. This is how one is not rid of sensuality.

“And how is one rid of sensuality? There is the case where a certain person is free of passion for sensuality, free of desire, free of love, free of thirst, free of fever, free of craving for sensuality. This is how one is rid of sensuality.

“And how does one have preferences? There is the case where a certain person thinks, ‘May form be like this in the future. May feeling.… May perception.… May fabrication.… May consciousness be like this in the future.’ This is how one has preferences.

“And how is one free from preferences? There is the case where a certain person does not think, ‘May form be like this in the future. May feeling.… May perception.… May fabrication.… May consciousness be like this in the future.’ This is how one is free from preferences.

“And how does one engage with people in quarrelsome debate? There is the case where a certain person is a fomenter of this kind of debate: ‘You understand this doctrine & discipline? I’m the one who understands this doctrine & discipline. How could you understand this doctrine & discipline? You’re practicing wrongly. I’m practicing rightly. What should be said first you said last. What should be said last you said first. I’m being consistent. You’re not. What you took so long to think out has been refuted. Your doctrine has been overthrown. You’re defeated. Go and try to salvage your doctrine, or extricate yourself if you can!’ This is how one engages with people in quarrelsome debate.

“And how does one not engage with people in quarrelsome debate? There is the case where a certain person is not a fomenter of this kind of debate: ‘You understand this doctrine & discipline? I’m the one who understands this doctrine & discipline. How could you understand this doctrine & discipline? You’re practicing wrongly. I’m practicing rightly. What should be said first you said last. What should be said last you said first. I’m being consistent. You’re not. What you took so long to think out has been refuted. Your doctrine has been overthrown. You’re defeated. Go and try to salvage your doctrine, or extricate yourself if you can!’ This is how one does not engage with people in quarrelsome debate.

‘Having abandoned home,
living free from society,
the sage
in villages
creates no intimacies.
Rid of sensuality, not
preferring,
he wouldn’t engage with people
in quarrelsome debate.’

“This is how the detailed meaning of this, the Blessed One’s brief statement, is to be understood.”

To Haliddikāni
Haliddikāni Sutta (SN 22:3)

The Buddha as the Way

The Buddha comes to show the path; so that we may follow it.

the worthy one, the rightly self-awakened one, who from disenchantment with form, from dispassion, from cessation, from lack of clinging (for form) is released—is termed ‘rightly self-awakened.’ And a discernment-released monk—who from disenchantment with form, from dispassion, from cessation, from lack of clinging (for form) is released—is termed ‘discernment-released.’

the worthy one, the rightly self-awakened one, who from disenchantment with feeling… perception… fabrication, from dispassion, from cessation, from lack of clinging (for feeling… perception… fabrication) is released—is termed ‘rightly self-awakened.’ And a discernment-released monk—who from disenchantment with feeling… perception… fabrication, from dispassion, from cessation, from lack of clinging (for feeling… perception… fabrication) is released—is termed ‘discernment-released.’

the worthy one, the rightly self-awakened one, who from disenchantment with consciousness, from dispassion, from cessation, from lack of clinging (for consciousness) is released—is termed ‘rightly self-awakened.’ And a discernment-released monk—who from disenchantment with consciousness, from dispassion, from cessation, from lack of clinging (for consciousness) is released—is termed ‘discernment-released.’

“So what difference, what distinction, what distinguishing factor is there between one rightly self-awakened and a monk discernment-released?”

the teachings have the Blessed One as their root, their guide, & their arbitrator. It would be good if the Blessed One himself would elaborate on the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from the Blessed One, the monks will remember it.”

“In that case, monks, listen & pay close attention. I will speak.”

“The Tathāgata—the worthy one, the rightly self-awakened one—is the one who gives rise to the path (previously) unarisen, who engenders the path (previously) unengendered, who points out the path (previously) not pointed out. He knows the path, is expert in the path, is adept at the path. And his disciples now keep following the path and afterward become endowed with the path.

“This is the difference, this the distinction, this the distinguishing between one rightly self-awakened and a monk discernment-released.”

Awakened
Buddha Sutta (SN 22:58)